The DCMS Bat Signal: 2/25/19

Super me, super you, everyday heroes make dreams come true.

Good Morning Team DCMS Superheroes!


Good Tuesday morning to you all! Did you know that there are only 17 school days until spring break? More importantly, there are 34 school days until the iLearn testing window opens. I have been so pleased with the clear focus on the standards that you have been providing our students. Be sure you are really going deep with the process standards if you have them, and that you are reaching level 3/4 with the depth of knowledge. Not only do we want our students to pass iLearn, but we want them to show growth. We've got this!

Have a wonderful week!

Marsha Webster

Culture of Error: TLaC Technique 8

Taken from

Strive to normalize mistake-making amongst your students. Create an environment where it’s safe to be wrong, so you can spend less time hunting for errors and focus on fixing them.

In Teach Like a Champion 2.0, a big emphasis is placed on how to check for understanding and gather reliable data in the classroom. A key piece of this is developing a ‘culture of error’ in your classroom – a culture where mistakes are embraced as part of the learning process. The more comfortable your students (and you) are with taking risks, sharing answers, and making mistakes, the more reliable your checks for understanding will be and, more importantly, the more your students will learn!

Two Strategies to Create a Culture of Error in your Class:

Teach students that mistakes grow your brain.

  • I recently read the following quote by Jo Boaler of the Stanford Graduate School of Education and it has completely changed how I message mistakes to my students.

“Brain scans now tell us that when someone makes a mistake in math and they struggle over something, synapses fire. When someone does not struggle and they get an answer correct nothing happens.”

  • I love sharing this with students and now every time students make a mistake and we are able to correct it as a class I can say “Yes! Your brain is growing!” Also when students are struggling, I can praise their struggle and remind them that when they are struggling they are literally getting smarter!

Plan multiple opportunities in class where students can share different solutions and learn from mistakes. In order to do this effectively Teach Like a Champion 2.0 discusses three strategies.

  • Expect Error. What does this mean? If we expect error, then we are not surprised or disappointed when students make a mistake. Instead we are excited because it provides us an opportunity to get inside a students’ brains, know what they are really thinking, and then help fix misconceptions.

  • Withhold the Answer. Withholding the answer is a great way to see what students really understand. To withhold the answer, rather than saying “Great Job, that is correct!”” or “No, sorry that answer is incorrect, does anyone have another answer,” you simply write each answer on the board without commenting on whether the answer is right or wrong.

  • Manage the Tell. The hardest part about this is keeping your facial expressions from giving away that the answer is correct or incorrect, managing your ‘tell.’ Think of a poker face. Once you take the answer that is given without comment, ask if anyone else has an answer.

Every time I use these strategies I not only engage my students more in wanting to know the correct answer, but I am also amazed at what misunderstandings students actually have that I would have never have known about if I had just accepted the first answer.

Here’s an example from a recent lesson I taught on integers:

I wrote the following problem on the board: 4 – (-5)

I then asked students to silently think about the answer for 10 seconds. I called on a Miranda who responded with “The answer is 9.” In my head I was delighted. “Yes!” I thought. “My students can add integers.” But I held back from smiling, tried to contain the excitement in my eyes and simply wrote the answer on the board. I then asked if anyone else had a different answer to share. While I hoped no one would, I expected error and asked the question in a tone that encouraged students to share another strategy and did not give away that 9 was correct. Multiple hands shot up in the air, eagerly excited to share their thinking. “Oh no," I thought deep down to myself, "this is not what I want to see.” One student shared -9. Another student shared -1 and then multiple students agreed with him. Then the unexpected happened. Miranda raised her hand and decided to change her answer from 9 to -1. All in a moment, I went from thinking my students had mastered integer operations to find that we still had a lot of work and practice to do.

By expecting error, withholding the answer, and managing my tell, I now had a much clearer understanding of where the class stood on integers and had the opportunity to discuss this common mistake with the entire class. Students were engaged and eager to hear why the answer was not -1 and this led to a rich discussion on subtraction of integers.

In a math classroom, or any classroom, creating a culture of error is the first step in helping our students become better problem solvers. Students who are not afraid to make mistakes learn how to persevere when solving a problem. These students know that it's okay to try one solution path and when you don’t get the right answer, reassess your method and try a new one. Cathy Seeley states the importance of creating a culture of error in our classes in her book Smarter than We Think, stating “Creating classrooms where this kind of learning is the norm may help students build into their lives a willingness to struggle, persevere, and learn from their mistakes – important skills for continuing to learn and succeed long after they’re out of school.”

How will you create a culture of error in your classroom?

Click HERE for a Spring 2019 Scoring Opportunity

Click the button above if interested! The American Institutes for Research (AIR) and Measurement Incorporated (MI) are recruiting interested Indiana educators to be involved in the scoring process for the upcoming ILEARN assessment.

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iLearn/You Learn

**If you teach math or ELA in grades 3-8, reading these updates is NOT optional. You are expected to know the information contained in each update. Please make the time to ensure you have read and understood all of this information.**

If you missed a previous version, please catch up by accessing the following links:

Update #1

Update #2

Update #3

Update #4

Update #5

Update #6

Update #7

Submit Same Day Absences the Same Day in Frontline, Please & More

We are in full swing with using Frontline as our online leave request system. It is important to note that on "day of absences", you must still text or call Marsha or Dave in addition to completing the online form on the day of the absence. If you are too ill to do so, let Dave or me know, and we can submit it on your behalf.

The only forms requiring a paper request in addition to the Frontline request is a professional leave request. The reason we need to continue using paper, for the time being, is because the account codes are not yet included in Frontline yet. This too shall end in time. Stay tuned.

Upcoming Events

  • PTO Mtg - Monday, 2/25, @ 3:30 PM in the office conference room
  • School Board Mtg - Monday, 3/11, @ SE in the cafe starting at 6:30 PM
  • MS Spring Pictures with LifeTouch - Tuesday, 3/19

Upcoming Meetings

  • PLC - Wednesday, 2/27, in The Bat Cave @7:25 AM
  • PLC - Wednesday, 3/6, in The Bat Cave @7:25 AM
  • Faculty Mtg - Tuesday, 3/12, in The Bat Cave @7:25 AM
  • PLC - Wednesday, 3/13, in The Bat Cave @7:25 AM
  • PLC - Wednesday, 3/20, in The Bat Cave @7:25 AM
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A Message from the Danville Community Education Foundation

STAFF: We will be making grade level baskets to raffle off at the DCEF BINGO event. We are also asking STAFF members to donate any type of alcoholic beverages to make some adult baskets. We are looking for bottles of wine, wine glasses, craft beers, any type of beer, signs, gift cards, etc. Anything that would be great in a basket!!

These items can NOT be brought into school but we have a drop off location set up at Paisley Peacock on the Square (in Sage Home's old store). They are open Tuesday thru Saturday 11-7pm. Please drop all donations off by March 2nd.

You are all encouraged to buy tickets to attend. Bring some friends and reserve a table! We will be honoring all teachers in attendance too!!

Please help us make this a successful fundraiser to raise more money for teacher grants and senior scholarships by spreading the word, making donations and attending the event!

Thank you for ALL you do for kiddos! It is greatly appreciated!


  • Marsha and Laura Tice will be out 2/27 & 2/28 at training in Bloomington. Dave will be out 3/5.

  • Shorts, Longs, & Coaching Observations – Expect that we will be visiting frequently and maybe even multiple times in a week.

  • Attendance Must Be Taken EACH Period – Attendance must be taken each period. This is not optional and cannot continue to be forgotten. At this point, this is considered a minimum performance expectation.

  • Cell Phone Violations Procedures are found here at the following link. Please familiarize yourself with the process.
  • Friday School / Detention Supervisor Sign-Up – Please sign up to supervise a Friday School or Detention for the good of the school culture using the links below. Detentions will now be on Thursday AM and Thursday PM.

Detention -

Friday School -

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About Us: Mission & Collective Commitments

We are a collaborative group of educators committed to ensuring high student achievement.

We commit to…

  1. Focusing on student proficiency of Indiana College & Career Readiness standards, not just coverage of material.
  2. Working collaboratively to benefit all students with a focus on results.
  3. Join forces to learn by doing on a daily basis.
  4. Using frequent common assessments that inform and drive our instruction.
  5. Providing intervention and enrichment based upon the formative data.
  6. Furthering a culture that uses value-added language, encourages one another, and celebrates successes.